Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Post-Mission Life

“Clear as the moon, and fair as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners.” 
(Doctrine & Covenants 5:14, March 1829)

It has been an adventure! I’ve been home almost 2 weeks but it has felt a lot longer. Coming home from serving in the Canada Vancouver Mission has been a highlight of the Christmas season along with much commotion. It would be impossible to describe every feeling but a mini biopsy of life as we know it would go like this;

  • First thing I did after being released was take a nap
  • I wore jeans, instead of mid-length skirts, for the first time yesterday
  • I held my new nephew and kissed him on the cheek
  • I spent Christmas with my family and attended my sister’s wedding in DC

The thing that strikes me the most is I’ve forgotten what my hobbies are. When my sister wrote to say I would get along well with her fiancĂ©e because he has a love of books it rekindled some faint memory of reading Dostoyevsky and Pearl S. Buck. When others ask if I will take up dancing again I see the floor to roof mirrors but don’t see my reflection. Simply put it’s a transition into remembering who you are.

The great thing is I know what I stand for. If we liken life to a roast beef dinner, the roast is well-done and of high grade, it’s just the trimmings now that we are concerned with.  A mission shows you that life can be beautiful and simple. So many distractions from day to day living are factored out and you feel peace of conscience and satisfaction at the end of the day. The advice that resonates with me the most comes from a talk by Bruce L. Olsen[i]. He says missing the Mantle, mantle being a term for an important role or responsibility you once had that has been passed to another, can cause spiritual things that had come with ease suddenly require more exertion on your part. I see that with waking up in the mornings and scripture reading. In preparing for a mission one of my fears was I wasn’t going to be able to wake up at 6:20am for 18 months every day. What I found in fact was that after being set-apart that never became an issue and my nature changed so that I became a morning person and revelled in brisk morning runs. Coming back I find that not so easy to do and have adjusted to a morning time that is still early but not as rigid. Scripture reading is something I’ve always loved but now I read to meet my needs and those of my family rather than to prepare for the lessons to be taught that day. It is a different experience and one I am getting used to.

At the end of the day I am still the same person that left. My imperfections and quirks can still be seen but overriding it all is a love of God and mankind. It has been an adventure! It would be impossible to say what the future will bring but I’m confident it will be glorious. I’ve collected a few pearls along the way to help guide and direct the course. A few of these pearls would be;
  • Speak kindly to yourself and others
  • Humour is essential
  • Admit your faults and work to overcome shortcomings and challenges
  • Trust in the Lord
  • Humility precedes true success
  • Follow the Spirit   
Have a wonderful Christmas season and a Happy New Year!

[i]  Home From a Mission, Bruce L. Olsen, June 1991